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Gerhard Muller with Gustavo Gutierrez

Archbishop Muller awarded for his support of Liberation Theology

The photo above was taken in Lima, Peru, moments after Archbishop Gerhard Muller was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PCUP) on November 28, 2008. From the left, we can distinguish Prof. Salomon Lerner, President of the IDEH (Institute for Democracy and Human Rights), Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, also wearing a medallion signifying an honorary doctor received from that University, Bishop Muller of Regensburg, and Vice-Rector Marcial Rubio, who presided at the ceremony.

In the welcoming speech, Prof Lerner affirmed: "Today the Catholic University incorporates to its bosom ... Msgr. Muller ... one of the greatest theologians of our days who had - and has - great sensitivity to know the cause of the poor. Along this line and guided by the hand of our dear Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, he was able to profoundly understand the ideas of Liberation Theology."

In an interview he gave to the Pontifical University on that occasion, Muller explained his adhesion to Liberation Theology. Answering  a question about his relation with Peru, he said:

"In 1988, along with other theologians from Germany and Austria, I participated in a symposium on Liberation Theology where Prof. Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez was also present. In my country we had read a great deal about this much-discussed country [Peru], and we were aware of all the controversies raised around it in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. With Gustavo Gutierrez I learned in depth the meaning of this theological current, which has its heart and origin in Peru, since he is the father of this theology. From then on, my interest in Peru and the Peruvians began to grow."

About Benedict XVI's approval for his position on Liberation Theology, Muller provided these data while expressing his joy to receive the honorary doctorate: "For me it is a great honor to receive this distinction because it comes from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and also because Pope Benedict XVI complimented me when he learned of the news. When I was in Rome some weeks ago for the launching of the [first volume of the] theological work of His Holiness, he was very pleased and congratulated me for receiving this recognition."

About the trust Benedict places in Muller, he noted: "I have known Card. Joseph Ratzinger since he was Archbishop of Munich, but I met  with him more often when he was member of the International Theological Commission, to which I belonged for five years before I was named Bishop of Regensburg. After many meetings, the Pope had confidence in me and, for this reason, he charged me with the task of compiling his work, which amounts to more than 3,000 writings in different languages. With this end in sight, I founded the  Benedict XVI Institute in Regensburg, a place where he lived and taught theology for many years."

The full text of the interview in Spanish is available here; the video of the award ceremony, here.

Below, some shots of the ceremony taken from the video on the PCUP website.


Gerhard Muller - Liberation Theology
Photos & video from the Pontifical Catholic University of  Peru

Posted July 15, 2012
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